Rainwater harvesting is the practice of collecting and storing rainwater for future use. At a minimum, rainwater harvesting systems are comprised of a catchment area, a conveyance system, and a storage tank. Systems can also include a pump, water treatment system and fixtures for the use of water. Depending on the design and level of water treatment and purification, harvested rainwater can be used for outdoor irrigation, domestic purposes, such as toilet flushing and laundry, and even potable uses.
When designing and installing rainwater harvesting systems, it is important to consider provincial codes, regulations and standards, as well as municipal codes.
Benefits of rainwater harvesting include:
- Supplementing municipal water demand: When larger volumes of water are collected it can contribute to lower municipal water bills.
- Reduction in the volume of water entering the stormwater system: Collecting rainwater helps to protect our watersheds, streams, creeks and the nearshore environment by reducing the volume of water entering the stormwater system.
- Recharge of ground water: Using harvesting rainwater for irrigation, or directing overflow into a rain garden will help to replenish groundwater stores.